NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 8th (All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (6-13) at Houston Rockets (14-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets stopped a two-game slide last time out and will try to keep the momentum Sunday when they welcome the Orlando Magic to the Toyota Center.
After an ugly road loss to the Utah Jazz and an equally bad home loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Rockets got back into the win column with a 105-83 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors on Friday.
The 83 points allowed matched a season-low for the Rockets.
"I thought that we came out and really got after them," said Houston head coach Kevin McHale. "Those guys are tough guys to guard and they did a nice job of not getting them started. We were able to just kind of play from there."
The Rockets buried the Warriors, 31-12 in the first quarter and cruised from there.
James Harden led the way with 34 points, followed by 22 and 18 rebounds from Dwight Howard. Terrence Jones also registered a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.
Chandler Parsons returned from a two-game absence with a back issue, but only had eight points.
It will be a familiar foe for Howard as he spent the first eight seasons of his career in Orlando. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he languished last season, before signing with the Rockets in the offseason.
The Rockets will head west for three games following Sunday's tilt.
The Magic are playing the fourth of a six-game road trip and so far the results have not been good. Orlando is 0-3 after a 121-83 smackdown at the hands of the New York Knicks Friday.
The Magic couldn't stop the great Knicks shooting, which started in Thursday night's decisive win over the Brooklyn Nets. New York shot 53 percent from the field against Orlando and 50 percent from long range.
"I think the results of their game in Brooklyn carried over to this game," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "They shot the ball extremely well like they did in Brooklyn, so there you have an NBA game for you."
Arron Afflalo followed up a career-high 43 points on Wednesday against Philadelphia with 20 points on Friday. Glen Davis had a career-best 33 against the Sixers, but only managed four points against the Knicks.
Victor Oladipo had a triple-double in Orlando's heartbreaking double-overtime loss to the Sixers and he finished with 17 points and nine rebounds versus New York. Jameer Nelson returned from injury and had 13 points against the Knicks.
The Magic will visit Memphis and Charlotte before returning home for just one game.
The Rockets won both contests last season and that snapped a five-game winning streak for Orlando in this series. The Magic have taken three of their last five in Houston.
12/08 10:25:54 ET